Heartattack and Vine, Tom Waits' first album in two years and his last of seven for Asylum Records, is a transitional album, with tracks like the rhythm-heavy title song and "'Til the Money Runs Out" foreshadowing the sonic experiments of the Island albums, while piano-with-orchestra tracks like "Saving All My Love for You" and "On the Nickel" (written as a motion-picture title tune) hark back to Waits' Randy Newman-influenced early days. It is just as well that Waits never entirely gave up on the ballad material; "Jersey Girl," a Drifters-style song, is a winner, and it was appropriated by Bruce Springsteen on his 1981 tour. Also, at least at this point, the rougher tunes all tended to sound the same.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann